A Just Peace Congregation
December 2018 Newsletter
The Good News
Happy Advent! Last year I made a big deal about Advent.
Actually, I think I was a bit snobbish about Advent. But it’s for a
You see, every December a group of people start talking about a
“War on Christmas.” They complain that we say Happy Holidays and
that dilutes the Christmas season.
But here’s the thing: It’s not the Christmas season. It’s
Well, I guess that depends on whom you ask. If you ask our
consumeristic calendar, it sure is the Christmas season. In fact,
the Christmas season started way back in October. And you should
celebrate the Christmas season by purchasing more stuff!
But if you ask the Christian calendar, we will find that we need
to put on the brakes! That’s because Christmas doesn’t begin until
December 25. Until then, we are in the season of Advent.
If there’s a war on any Christian season, there’s a war on
Advent. We tend to just skip Advent and move right into
But Advent invites us to wait for the coming of the Christ child
This matters because Advent is a time not just for waiting. It’s
a time of looking at the world as it is. Our Advent scripture
passages make a claim that something is wrong in the world.
Wars and rumors of wars, violent conflicts, corrupt politicians,
natural disasters that cause harm. The Scriptures tell us that
Advent is a time that refuses to
normalize these events. Instead, we need to mourn them as we
hope for the coming of Jesus and his offer of salvation.
But when we move too quickly to celebrating Christmas, we ignore
Advent, which means we are tempted to normalize what’s wrong in the
world. Even our consumer culture makes this attempt. It distracts
us with the promise of happiness if we just purchase one more item.
But that doesn’t lead to true joy.
Jesus leads to joy. So, this Advent, if someone wishes you a
merry Christmas, you can wish them a merry Christmas in return. But
I wonder how they would respond if you wished them a happy Advent.
It might be fun to see their response.
So, my friends, may you have a happy Advent and a Merry
Grace and Peace,
P.S. I wanted to tell you that I will begin taking a few more
Sundays off this year. I am grateful to everyone who steps up
during these times. Thank you. Some of these dates might change,
but so far my scheduled times off are December 30, January 20,
February 17, March 31, May 26, July 7, August 18, October 6, and
November 10. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at
A Just Peace Congregation Minister: Pastor Adam Ericksen
[email protected] (503) 654-0741 Choir Director & Organist: Jean
Herrera [email protected]
CHURCH COUNCIL OFFICERS: Moderator: Jeff Pratt [email protected]
Vice Moderator: Patti Hanson Clerk: Heather Merrifield
[email protected] Treasurer: Peggy Soliday
[email protected] Financial Mgmt: Suzanne Lacampagne
[email protected] Financial Secretary: Jean Herrera
[email protected] Christian Education & Youth Contact:
Lori Prouty [email protected]
Trustee Chair: Dave Frick-Wright [email protected] Deacon’s
Chair: Cathy Cooper [email protected] Justice & Witness
Contact: Patti Hanson Staff Relations Chair: Jean Herrera
Newsletter Submissions: The CUCC Newsletter is open to
submissions from members and committees. We welcome information,
poetry, photos and art for consideration in this monthly
publication. Also – we love to receive member “News” – submissions
to be considered can be emailed to Lori Prouty at [email protected]
Next Newsletter is January, deadline December 23rd.
Web Sites to Check Out:
Clackamas UCC - http://www.c-ucc.org/
Clackamas UCC YouTube Channel
CPC-UCC “On the Way” Newsletter
CPC Aging & Spirituality Network
UCC National Offices - www.ucc.org
UCC Justice & Peace Action Network
Community of Welcoming Congregations
Progressive Christianity - http://www.tcpc.org
The Raven Foundation - https://www.ravenfoundation.org/
Prayer Requests Keep the following folks in your prayers!
Steve Andersen’s Dad, Carl – Cancer and Parkinson’s.
Brenda Eichelberger (Bernie Nolan’s daughter) – In treatment for
Hillary Ericksen (Pastor Adam’s sister) – Struggling with heart
and mental health issues.
Patti Hanson – Prayers for grandson, Cam, struggling through a
mental health crisis. Continued prayers for friend, Kris Musselman,
treatment for cancer.
Jean & John Herrera – John in treatment for tongue
Junita Kauble – In treatment for breast cancer.
Gary Lowrie – Following heart surgery.
Jim Paulson & Family – Health concerns.
Ruby Philpot – Balance issues that prevent her from coming to
church. Please call, send cards or schedule a visit.
Dwight Richardson – Upcoming surgery.
Howard Robinson – Health issues.
Jazelle Savin – Under treatment for breast cancer.
Eldon Steiner – Severe back/leg pain issues.
Brian Wilcox – In treatment for metastatic melanoma.
In Memory Amy Brinkley – Following the death of dear friend,
Rhonda Frick-Wright – Following the death of Rhonda’s Aunt,
Bring Your Poinsettias for the Altar As is traditional at CUCC,
anyone who would like to donate poinsettias for the altar in memory
of a loved one may do so from now through the month of December.
They are a lovely addition to our sanctuary during the holidays. If
you would like to offer one in memory of someone,
please let Jean Herrera know so she can include it in the
bulletin. Contact Jean at 503-654-2449 or email
mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]://www.c-ucc.org/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJUoRkWcFPcPLgBCEm1LUPg/videoshttp://cpcucc.org/wp14/on-the-way/file:///C:/Users/Lori/Documents/CUCC/Newsletters/%09http:/cpcucc.org/wp14/ministry-teams/local-church-ministry/aging-and-spirituality/http://www.ucc.org/http://www.ucc.org/justice_jpanethttp://www.welcomingcongregations.org/http://www.tcpc.org/https://www.ravenfoundation.org/mailto:[email protected]
A Special Thank You …
To Cathy Cooper and the Deacons for the delicious soup lunch. We
raised $138 for our local homeless and food deprived.
To Dave Frick-Wright and Bill Magorian of the Trustees for
delivering our new Narthex couches.
To EVERYONE who worked so hard on November’s Holiday Bazaar,
Luncheon and Bake Sale. Special thanks and appreciation go out to
Jean Herrera for organizing the excellent luncheon and to Joyce
Steiner and Janice Straub
for heading the bazaar. Everyone’s efforts brought in $2,760!
And we’re so happy to announce that Jazelle Savin won the quilt
raffle this year – congratulations!
Thank you for the generous donation we received to help buy the
Christmas wreaths that are hanging in the Narthex and Sanctuary.
Purchase of the wreaths will assist Edson Jimenez-Sutton in his
soccer team's travel and other needs.
An Announcement on Announcements! We will try something new
during the month of December. If you would like an announcement to
be made, please write it down on a 3x5 notecard found in
the Narthex and hand it to Pastor Adam before the service.
Look Who is Turning 100! Sun. Dec. 9th Birthday Party! Happy
100th birthday to Elsie Savin – you are looking marvelous! Elsie
was born on 12/4/1918! The Savin Family
would like to invite everyone to join them for Elsie’s birthday
party after worship on Sunday, Dec. 9th! See invitation on church
bulletin board. A luncheon will also be provided by the Savins and
there will be cake too! Please help us celebrate!
Shop with Us! Gifts that Give Twice
Three Sundays in December – Dec. 9th through 23rd – we will be
offering items for purchase on our “Gifts that Give Twice” table.
Including the ever- popular organic olive oils from Palestine. They
make GREAT Christmas gifts.
NABALI OLIVE OIL – Nabali is delicate, full-bodied - sweet and
smooth - Nabali
is the beloved native variety of Palestine. 16.9 oz bottle,
RUMI OLIVE OIL – One of Palestine's original, indigenous olive
varieties - fresh fruity tones - a lingering peppery kick at the
end - robust and pungent olive oil with complex character. 16.9 oz
CRUSHED FLAVORED OLIVE OILS – Canaan's crushed infused olive oil
is prepared with select original sharp Surri
variety olives, crushed together with fresh herbs. They are
prepared only once a year during the olive harvest. Basil, Garlic
or Thyme flavors. 8.4 oz. bottle, $15.
Giving Tree 2018
CUCC has designated the Clackamas Service Center (CSC) as the
agency we will support through the Giving Tree again this year.
Please bring your unwrapped items to place under the Giving Tree,
Diapers & Pull-Ups (all sizes) Hats, Gloves & Socks
Thermal Tops & Long Johns Blankets, Tarps, Tents,
Sleeping Bags Hygiene Items Pet Items (dog food, etc.)
Art & Spirit Circle – December 3rd 7 pm Join us for Art
& Spirit Circle on Monday, December 3rd at 7 pm. Bring your
spare and/or special buttons (or use the buttons supplied) for an
evening of button and sea glass ornaments and/or card making. $3
donation, and please
bring a hot glue gun if you have one. Hosted by Lori Prouty,
snacks provided and/or bring some to share. Hope you can make
Elsie Savin, 100!
Community Justice Night
“An Evening with Rabbi
Thursday, December 13th – 7pm Are you concerned about the
growing rise of antisemitism? So are we, but what can we do about
All are invited to join us at Clackamas United Church of Christ
for the event "To Shine a Light" with Rabbi Ariel Stone and Adam
Ericksen. They will discuss Judaism, Hannukah, antisemitism, and
how we can work together for a better world. There will be time for
questions and response from the audience.
Rabbi Stone is the 2018 recipient of the City of Portland Human
Rights Commission Lifetime Achievement Award. Clackamas United
Church of Christ is delighted and honored to have her speak with
The conversation begins at 7pm and a light dinner will be
provided beginning at 8 pm. We hope you can join us for this
Clackamas UCC Book Club – Dec. 17th Monday, December 17th from
10:15 - 11:45. The book we will be discussing is The Prairie
Keepers by Marcy
Houle. All are invited to lunch at GG's on McLoughlin after the
meeting. Please contact Peggy Soliday at [email protected] /
(503) 305-8824 if you have questions.
Game Night – Fri. Dec. 28th 6pm Join us for Game Night on
Friday, December 28th from 6 to 8:30 pm – please bring snacks to
share and your favorite game!
Young at Heart’s Luncheon – December Young at Heart’s December
luncheon date and location to be determined – stay tuned! Contact
Cyndi Lewis-Wolfram at (503) 756-1966 with any questions.
Christmas Eve - Monday, Dec. 24th Cookie & Coffee Reception
- 7:15 pm
Christmas Eve Service & Caroling - 8 pm
Join us for our annual Christmas Eve Service and Candlelight
Caroling. Come at 7:15 pm for the cookie/coffee reception before
the 8 pm service begins. Our Christmas Eve service ends as we sing
carols by candlelight. A beautiful evening.
Peggy Soliday and Lynn Betteridge are coordinating the Christmas
Eve reception desserts being served prior to the service. If you
are able to contribute desserts to this gathering, please contact
Peg at [email protected] / 503-305-8824 or Lynn at
[email protected] / 503-631-3095.
Remember the Food Pantry!
Remember our food-deprived neighbors and bring in your food
donations (including pet food) and personal hygiene items.
mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
End-of-Year Staff Gifts It is a long-standing tradition at
Clackamas UCC to offer a year-end gift to each of our paid and
volunteer staff persons as a way of saying “thank you for your time
We have four: Jean Herrera/Organist; Lori Prouty/Admin.
Asst/Webmaster; Cody Prouty/Janitorial; and of course Rev. Adam
If you would like to donate you may either:
Put your donation in an envelope clearly labeled as “staff
gifts” and put in the offering plate at Sunday service, or
Mail your donation directly to the church using our new mailing
address: PO Box 2562, Clackamas, OR 97015, or
Make an online donation at the CUCC web site,
Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study 9:20 am – In December we will
be studying Advent Bible texts. In January, Jeff Pratt is leading a
three-week study of Enoch, the most influential apocryphal book
you've never heard of. You are welcome to join us for any
particular subject, or whenever you can.
Tuesday Bible Study with Pastor Adam 12 to 1:30 pm Please join
Pastor Adam in his office this month from 12 to 1:30 pm for studies
covering chapters for each following Sunday:
December 4th: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6
December 11th: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Luke 3:7-18
December 18th: Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:39-45(46-55)
We are on target for reaching our offering goals for the year if
folks keep up with their pledges and donations. You have been
faithful givers through the year, and we trust that you will
continue your patterns of giving.
Each December, we have an opportunity to give a special offering
to the church. Our Christmas offering is a year-end gift that helps
Clackamas UCC end the year strongly in the black so that we can
move into the next year’s budget healthy and in a positive place
financially. You can contribute to the Christmas Offering through
UCC Fire Relief in California
Rev. Laura Lee Kent, pastor at the Medford UCC church has been
in touch with the two UCC Conferences in California following the
fires. She has asked us to share the following information with
you encouraging everyone in our church to pray for our sister
churches and to send contributions to help them in this HUGE
From the Northern California Fire Area: Your prayers are much
appreciated. Currently we are working on a project to put together
backpacks for the children in the Paradise area, and many of our
churches will be helping with that. The two churches closest to
Paradise are New Vision UCC in Chico and Pilgrim UCC in Redding.
Redding had their own devastating wildfire in August and four homes
belonging to members were lost. Knowing what helped them, the
Redding church is doing a great deal and we have sent more than
$15,000 in donations to help with the projects. The Chico church is
in the midst of closing down, but there is still a board and they
are helping and working with local agencies.
Many people from Paradise evacuated to Chico, which is about ten
miles away. Others evacuated to Redding, which is not so smoky. We
have also granted funds to Chico, and are working with the Disaster
Ministries. The town of Paradise is mostly destroyed, and this will
be a long recovery. Our churches in Santa Rosa and Sonoma had fires
last year, and the rebuilding there is just underway.
Funds can be sent to NCNC, 16190 Foothill Blvd., San Leandro CA
94578 and we will distribute them as the churches continue to
Blessings, Joy Davis (Conference Minister)
From the Southern California Fire Areas: I finally heard back
from our UCC in Simi Valley Church and they are working to provide
a safe space for people to process what happened and are working
with our Interfaith partners to meet the massive need in the
Pastor Curtis Lee Rodgers, UCC in Simi Valley 370 Royal Avenue,
Simi Valley, CA 93065 (805) 526-6001, [email protected]
Away in a Manger, No Crib for his Bed November 29, 2018 Written
by: Chris Davies
Sweet Baby Jesus is in a caravan of travelers, heading north. He
is tiny, carried by his tender mother, fleeing from a country with
no space left for growing. Or Jesus is walking barefoot as a
toddler, wearing through shoes en route and feet burning in
deserts. Jesus is hungry, terrified and crying. His parents do what
they can, pushed by the promise of hope, the allusive caring that
perhaps, maybe… maybe… pulled by the stories that come and the
meager help already offered from family in the north, and the jobs
that may have already been promised.
Over his head, the many forces of government speak of census and
how many people can be where and whose job it is to bring them
there. They note that there is no room at the inn or the town or
the city or the county or the country or the world for their kind
of refugee-seeking. They note that if they stay, the tiny one will
be murdered. They note all this in the guise of security and in the
guise of maintaining allusions of power for the wealthy.
This, this; is Christ the child who will grow to call the world
into justice. This, this; is Christ the child who will grow up to
invite the welcome of stranger, the hospitality of many. This,
this; is Christ the child who will grow to paint a vision of a
world where no human is illegal, there is enough and more for all,
and the righteous and just rule in alignment with the kingdom of
What cognitive dissonance. What willful obstinance. What
mourning, disgust, and perpetuation of abuse and torture.
It’s obscene that America, a nation that calls itself Christian,
is actively and intentionally choosing the god of security over the
divine liberator. It’s obscene that here, in America, the infant
Himself is caged and tear-gassed and looked at with suspicion as he
approaches with nothing, seeking help. Seeking grace. Seeking
family and a new home that is out of danger. It’s obscene … but not
surprising to many that here, in America, a nation founded on
values that many still turn to in times of uncertainty, is staying
more closely attuned to the founding values of colonialism and
theft of another’s liberty.
My faith tells me that to dehumanize anyone is to scoff at the
divine wonder of created beings. My faith tells me that my
neighbor is the one seeking help. My faith tells me that to
welcome the least of these is to welcome Christ among us. My
country tells me the opposite. As we lean into the season of
advent, it is my prayer that the love of the Liberator will turn
hardened hearts of political obscenities toward justice and
welcome. It is my prayer that the love of the Liberator will wake
the sleeping populous into action. It is my prayer that the love of
the Liberator will be with the people seeking a new homeland,
carrying with them infants resembling the baby Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Chris Davies is Coordinator for Congregational
Assessment, Support and Advancement for the United Church of
The UCC Condemns Administration’s Actions, Calls for Human
Rights Investigation November 27, 2018 Written by: Rev. Tara
(Portland, Oregon) The Central Pacific Conference of the United
Church of Christ deplores actions taken against asylum seekers at
the United States border. “As the images of women and children
being teargassed came across the airwaves, I was horrified that
such actions were taking place with the blessing of the White
House,” said the Rev. Molly Carlson, Conference Minister. “We are
urging our member churches to contact their Congressional
Representatives to challenge this inhumane treatment.”
The actions taken on Sunday are in violation of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948.
The Central Pacific Conference leadership is troubled by US policy
that condones this sort of treatment of peaceful men, women and
children, many of whom have walked over 2000 miles seeking safety.
They urge member churches to engage and speak out, to call for an
The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, Moderator of the Conference, said,
“We, who have never had to escape from daily violence and threats
to life, cannot understand the risks that parents will endure to
save their children’s lives. As a mother and grandmother, my heart
is torn apart by the cruelty that the US government is imposing
through hostile methods that mirror the very reality that our
beloved children have just experienced in their homelands.”
This Sunday (12/2) marks the beginning of the season of Advent
in the Christian Church. It’s a time of expectation and hope.
Jaramillo challenges Christians to not ignore what’s happening at
the border during this time. “I will not and cannot accept this as
our new normal. We must be better than this. I pray that our souls
will break wide open to expose our deepest love and compassion
beyond borders, especially in this Holy Season of Advent.”
mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
December Calendar Sundays at Clackamas UCC Bible Study: 9:20 am
– December - Advent Bible texts. Worship: 10:30 am
During Worship: Youth are dismissed for Sunday school.
Pastor Adam’s Appointment Hours: Pastor Adam generally has open
office hours on Tuesdays from 10-12. He may have meetings in town
during this time, so it's always best to make an appointment. To do
so, please contact Adam at [email protected], or call (503)
Pastor Adam's Tuesday Bible Study Schedule: • December 4th:
Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6 • December 11th: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Luke
3:7-18 • December 18th: Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:39-45(46-55)
Wednesdays at Clackamas UCC
Trustees Meet: 1st & 3rd Wed. of each month at 9 am. Women’s
Circle: Meets from 10 to 1:30 pm. Choir Practice: Meets from 6:50
to 8 pm.
Sunday, December 2nd – Advent 1, Communion, Tree Trimming &
Potluck after worship.
Monday, December 3rd – 7pm Art & Spirit Circle
Sunday, December 9th – Advent 2. Elsie Savin’s 100th birthday
party after church, luncheon provided by the Savin Family, and cake
too! The Gifts that Give Twice Table will be open after
Thursday, December 13th – 7pm Community Justice Night “An
Evening with Rabbi Ariel Stone” followed by a light dinner at
Sunday, December 16th – Advent 3. The Gifts that Give Twice
Table will be open after worship.
Monday, December 17th – 10:15 - 11:45 Book Club, followed by
lunch at GG’s on McLoughlin.
Sunday, December 23rd – Advent 4. The Gifts that Give Twice
Table will be open after worship. Newsletter Deadline. Financial
Monday, December 24th – Christmas Eve
Rev. Adam Ericksen leads worship. 7:15 - Cookie Reception before
the Service 8pm - Christmas Eve Service & Candlelight
Tuesday, December 25th – Christmas Day! Merry Christmas
Friday, December 28th – Game Night 6pm
Sunday, December 30th – We welcome Rev. Ann Duffy to the
Tuesday, January 1st – Happy New Year!
Sunday, January 6th – Communion. Council meeting.
Sunday, January 20th – We welcome Rev. Charlie Hinkle to the
pulpit. Newsletter Deadline.
Sunday, January 27th – Potluck and Congregational Meeting to
vote on 2019 budget.